Section 11-43-40

Composition of city councils; voting by president.

(a) In cities having a population of 12,000 or more, the following officers shall be elected at each general municipal election, who shall compose the city council for such cities and who shall hold office for four years and until their successors are elected and qualified, and who shall exercise the legislative functions of city government and any other powers and duties which are or may be vested by law in the city council or its members:

(1) In cities having seven wards or less, a president of the city council and two aldermen from each ward, to be elected by the qualified voters of the several wards voting separately in every ward; except, that in such cities having a population of less than 20,000, the two aldermen from each ward shall be elected by the electors of the city at large.

(2) In cities having more than seven wards, one alderman from each ward, and a sufficient number of aldermen from the city at large to make the total number of aldermen 14 exclusive of the president of the council; provided, that in cities having a population of 50,000 or more, the city council may create not more than 20 wards.

(3) In cities having a population of more than 30,000 according to the most recent federal decennial census or according to any census of such city made pursuant to Sections 11-47-90 through 11-47-95, and having only five wards, a president of the council and five aldermen, if the governing body shall so provide by ordinance or resolution adopted by two-thirds vote of the governing body at least six months prior to a general municipal election. If such an ordinance or resolution is adopted, one alderman shall reside in each of the respective wards of the city, the president and all of the aldermen shall be elected by the voters of the city at large, and the president shall vote only in case of a tie.

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of this section, the governing body of any city having a population of 12,000 or more may by ordinance or resolution, if adopted by two-thirds vote of the governing body more than six months prior to any general municipal election, provide that the city council of said city shall consist of five aldermen to be elected from the city at large.

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions (1), (2), (3), and (4) of this section, the governing body of any city having a population of 12,000 or more which does now elect council members from single-member districts or cities presently operating with five single-member districts as established under a federal court order may, by ordinance or resolution, if adopted by two-thirds vote of the governing body more than six months prior to any general municipal election, provide that the city council of said city shall consist of eight aldermen to be elected from single-member districts (wards) with the president of the city council to be elected by the qualified voters of the several wards voting separately in every ward.

(6) Notwithstanding any conflicting provision of subdivisions (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5), the city council of any Class 6 municipality, having a population of 19,000 or more, operating under a mayor-council form of government elected on a citywide basis, by ordinance adopted by a majority vote of the city council more than four months prior to the general municipal election for which the ordinance is to take effect, may provide for staggered terms of office for the city council as follows:

a. Each of the council seats established for the city shall be designated by separate number or place.

b. The initial term of office for persons holding the odd-numbered council seats shall be established at two years and the initial terms of office for persons holding the even-numbered council seats and that of the mayor of the city shall remain at four years.

c. Upon expiration of the initial two-year terms of office to be served by the council members holding odd-numbered seats, each council member elected to the seats shall thereafter hold office for a term of four years so that the mayor and all council members are elected for four-year terms of office with the terms to be staggered as provided.

d. This subdivision shall not be construed to authorize the governing body of any municipality to which it applies by ordinance or otherwise to shorten the term of any elected official serving on April 15, 2004.

(7) Notwithstanding any conflicting provision of subdivisions (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5), the city council of any Class 8 municipality having a population of 60,000 or more inhabitants elected by the qualified voters operating under a mayor-council form of government on a citywide basis, by ordinance adopted by a two-thirds vote of the city council more than three months prior to the general municipal election for which the ordinance is to take effect, may provide for the city council to consist of either five or seven aldermen to be elected from the municipality at large.

(b) Unless provided otherwise in this section, the president of the council shall have the right to vote on all questions the same as any other member of the council.

(Code 1907, §1067; Acts 1909, No. 56, p. 100; Code 1923, §1757; Acts 1927, No. 608, p. 706; Acts 1931, No. 371, p. 436; Code 1940, T. 37, §426; Acts 1956, 2nd Ex. Sess., No. 21, p. 288; Acts 1961, No. 666, p. 910, §2; Acts 1987, No. 87-474, §1; Acts 1987, No. 87-652, p. 1157, §1; Acts 1988, 1st Sp. Sess., No 88-918, p. 512, §1(1); Act 2004-239, p. 317, §1; Act 2004-311, p. 443, §1.)